October 1, 2018 2:42 pm
Updated: October 3, 2018 1:53 pm

Sask. First Nation acquires ownership-stake in Man. footwear company

Montreal Lake Cree Nation Chief Frank Roberts said acquiring an ownership-stake in Manitobah Mukluks makes economic sense.

Shannon Cuciz / Global News

Montreal Lake Business Ventures (MLBV) is investing in Manitobah Mukluks, an Indigenous-owned company that manufactures mukluks and moccasins.

Montreal Lake Cree Nation Chief Frank Roberts said acquiring an ownership-stake in the Manitoba footwear company makes economic sense.

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“It’s very beneficial for the community to have ownership and be able to participate in an industry that has strong roots in our traditions,” Roberts said in a press release.

“This agreement will provide long-term economic development opportunities and benefits for Montreal Lake for years to come.”

The Winnipeg-based company said Hollywood celebrities like Megan Fox and Cindy Crawford were photographed wearing its footwear in 2006, creating a demand that now reaches over 50 countries.

READ MORE: Manitoba footwear company strengthens aboriginal roots

Manitobah Mukluks supports a non-profit organization, Storyboot School, which aims to revive the traditional arts by creating partnerships with elders and artisans who teach the art of handcrafting mukluks and moccasins.

“We’ve really enjoyed teaching the students in this class,” Storyboot School teacher Gloria Beckman said in a statement.

“The students have really enjoyed the opportunity to learn and practice this art. It helps preserve our culture and instills a sense of pride in our students learning a traditional skill that can be carried on for generations.”

Montreal Lake graduated its first class from the Storyboot School last week.

MLBV was formed in 2010 to act as the business arm of Montreal Lake Cree Nation, which is located around 100 kilometres north of Prince Albert, Sask.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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